Blue Jay Rugby Team Cruises Past Christian Brothers (Memphis)
Last weekend, the Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) rugby team drove from Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans to take on the Blue Jays in an annual rugby match at the Marconi pitch. Jesuit was missing several key starters for the match, but their younger, less-experienced players stepped up to the challenge, defeating CBA 31-12 and improving to 4-1 on the season.
However, the match started off shaky for the Jays, as CBA managed to run back the opening kick 75 meters for a try. The conversion was good, and — with less than a minute off the clock — CBA was up 7-0.
Not to fear, the team huddled up, regrouped, and settled in to play Blue Jay rugby the rest of the way. After several back-and forth-possessions, the Jays finally found their offense as they came out of a scrum with senior John McCord passing off to senior Josh Cashio who then offloaded to senior Dylan Meyer. After a nice ruck and aggressive approach to the possession, Cashio took it in for the try. Back-up kicker junior Noah Tobin made the conversion to knot the score at 7.
Several minutes later, CBA was called for a high tackle and Jesuit chose to take the penalty kick, with Tobin splitting the uprights and ending the first half at a 10-7 Blue Jay lead.
CBA kicked off to start the second half, and Jesuit was on the move again with several long runs. After a “hang-up” — when a player is not allowed to touch the ball down by the other team — in the end zone, the Jays regained possession at the 5-meter line. Cashio passed off to senior Jacob Whitlow who took it in for the try. Tobin notched the conversion, and the Jays were up 17-7.
Junior Charles Lobrano provided the next try with a sideswiping run into the end zone from 10-meters out. Tobin made the conversion again, increasing the lead to 24-7.
Shortly after receiving the kick off, senior Will Waguespack made several quick runs deep into CBA territory, putting the Jays in scoring position. Cashio took it in the the try from 10-meters out and the conversion was good. Though the Jays finished scoring on this drive, they had the match well in hand at 31-7.
CBA managed one last hard-fought drive, methodically moving the ball and taking it in for a try with less than a minute to go. The conversion was no good, and the final score stood at 31-12.
“Man of the Match” was awarded to Noah Tobin for his superb kicking and gritty, tough play throughout the match.
With the upcoming Mardi Gras holiday, the ruggers will be off the next two weeks. On March 11, the Blue Jays will travel to Washington, D.C., to take on the #1 high school rugby team in the country, Gonzaga High School. The match is set for Sunday, March 12.
“In order to get better, you have to play great teams, and that will help our kids and our program continue to grow,” said Head Coach Adam Massey. “Our guys will be ready for the test.”